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(Printed for the use of his Family only.) 

N E W Y O R K . 



In the following pages I hare 2}^pared for you a 
brief sketch of some of the leading events of my Life, 
believing that I can leave to you no legacy more accept- 


I was born in Washington, in the County of Beaufort, in 
the State of North Carolina, on the 22d day of November, 
1800. My father was Alexander Chalmers Lanier. His 
mother's maiden name was Sarah Chalmers. She was nearly 
allied to the family of Chalmers in Scotland, of which Dr. 
Chalmers, the celebrated divine, was afterward a member. 
It was this connection that gave my father his middle name. 
My mother was a native of Virginia. Her maiden name 
was Drusilla Doughty. 

Mv first paternal ancestor in this country was Thomas La- 
nier, a Huguenot of Bordeaux, France, who was driven out of 
that country by religious persecution, near the middle of the 
seventeenth century. He went first to England, and came 
from that country to this, either in company with, or about 
the time that John Washington, the ancestor of George Wash- 
ington, emigrated to it. He subsequently married Elizabeth, 
a daughter of John Washington, and ultimately settled in 
North Carolina. In his native country he was a man of 
high social position, and possessed a large estate, a consider- 
able portion of which he contrived to bring away with him, 


although confiscated by law. He also brought with him a 
portion of the family furniture which was long retained by 
his descendants as interesting and valued heirlooms. His 
children were Richard, Thomas, James, Elizabeth and Samp- 
son Lanier. It was from the first-named that our branch of 
the family descended. His children were Lewis, Buckner, 
Burrill and Winifred. Lewis, our ancestor, married a Miss 
Ball, a sister of the mother of General Washington. He 
was my great-grandfather. His son, James Lanier, was my 
grandfather. My account of the emigration of our ancestor 
to this country, and of his marriage into the Washington 
family, is derived from a statement of the late George Wash- 
ington Parke Custis, the grandson of Mrs. General Washing- 
ton, taken from the records of the Washington family in his 
possession. The marriage of my great-grandfather with a 
sister of the mother of General Washington is a well estab- 
lished tradition in our family, but I possess no authentic 
record of the fact. 

My grandfather, James Lanier, was a planter. He was 
well educated, a cultivated gentlemen, energetic and public- 
spirited, and took an active part in the war of the Independ- 
ence, serving through the whole of it as captain in Col. Wil- 
liam Washington's regiment of light cavalry which was par- 
ticularly distinguished for its efficient service. He was in 
the battles of Eutaw Springs, Guilford Court House, the Cow- 
pens and, I believe, of King's Mountain. These were among 
the most brilliant achievements of the war. He also served 
as captain in General Wayne's expedition against the North- 
western Indians, in 1794, which not only avenged the defeat 
of General St. Clair, but completely destroyed their power, 
and for the first time gave peace to, and prepared the way 
for the future settlement of, the great Mississippi Valley. 

In 1789, I think, my grandfather moved to Nashville, Ten- 
nessee. The South-west was then just coming into notice. 
Among the immigrants into that section was General Andrew 
Jackson, afterward so famous in the history of the country. 
For some time after his arrival at Nashville he was an inmate 
of my grandfather's family. My grandfather subsequently, 
about 1791, removed to Bourbon County, Kentucky, of 
which he was soon appointed Prothonotary, or County Clerk. 
From thence he moved to Pendleton County, Kentucky, 
where he passed the remainder of his days. 

Soon after my birth, my father moved to Bourbon County, 
Kentucky. He invested his property in lands, and lost it 
by defect of title, with which much of the real estate of that 
State was tainted, and which produced wide-spread disaster 
and ruin. In consequence of these losses, he moved, in 1807, 
to the town of Eaton, in Preble County, Ohio. Upon reach- 
ing this State, he manumitted two valuable family slaves, the 
only ones he held, being prohibited from doing so in Ken- 
tucky by the laws of the latter. He had the satisfac- 
tion of seeing them both useful and respected in their new 
condition of freedom. I have alwaj^s greatly valued this 
act of my father, as these slaves constituted quite a portion 
of his property. The act was, however, only in harmony 
with his whole character. 

For a considerable portion of the time that my father re- 
sided at Eaton, he was clerk of the courts of the county. 
Upon the breaking out of the war of 1812, he entered the 
army and served during the whole of it. He served under 
General Harrison, with the rank of Major, in his north-west- 
ern campaigns, and had in charge a long line of defences, 
extending westerly from Lake Erie, and following up the 
valley of the Maurnee, the most important of which was 
Fort Wayne, situated on a narrow neck of land separating 

the waters flowing into Lake Erie from those flowing into 
the Grulf of Mexico, and named in honor of General Wayne 
and in commemoration of his celebrated north-western cam- 
paign in which my grandfather served. Upon the site of the 
fort, erected in the last century for the purpose of preventing 
the incursions of hostile savages, has grown up one of the 
most flourishing towns in the West, which has now become 
the centre of a vast system of railroads, the most important 
of which is the Pittsburg, Fort Wayne and Chicago. By a 
sing alar coincidence, the very ground which my father and 
grandfather periled their lives to wrest from savage tribes, I 
have labored long and earnestly, though in a different way, 
to improve and enrich by the arts of peace, and thus to com- 
plete their work. The territory once so remote and inac- 
cessible, and whose forests were the covert for the treacher- 
ous Indian has, through the instrumentality of the railway, 
been brought within easy distance of Eastern markets, and 
is now one of the most populous, nourishing and prosperous 
portions of the West. 

While at Eaton I attended the village school for about 
eighteen months. It was kept by a Mr. Stevens, who taught 
only the rudiments of an English education. While there I 
served as clerk in the store of a Mr. Cornelius Van Ausdall, 
an immigrant of Dutch descent from Hagerstown, Maryland, 
and a very worthy man. I believe he is still living. I have 
always looked upon my service with him as one of the most 
valuable periods of my early life. It taught me to be indus- 
trious, active, methodical, and the value, if I may use the word, 
of small things. I was brought into contact with all varieties 
of people, had to turn my hand to every kind of work, and 
learned how to be respectful and obliging to all. The stock 
in the store consisted chiefly of light cotton goods, twists, 
buttons and the smaller articles of hard and tin ware, and 


other articles suite;l to the primitive condition of the people 
with whom we dealt. The greater part of the trade consisted 
of barter. The most valuable articles received in exchange 
for goods were peltries of one kind or another. The route 
to the Eastern markets was up the Ohio River to Pittsburg 
and Wheeling, in keel-boats; thence by wagons to Philadel- 
phia or Baltimore. There were in those days neither roads 
nor steamboats in the West. The cost was too great to 
allow the transportation of the produce of the Western 
country to market, except a small amount of flour, corn and 
provisions sent down the river in arks, or ilatboats, to New 
Orleans. Nearly everything was produced in the family that 
was consumed in it. The only money then in circulation 
was silver— Spanish coins chiefly, received by way of New 
Orleans. This was packed on horses when the merchant 
went East to make his purchases, and the lighter kinds of 
goods brought back in the same manner. The trip to and 
from the Eastern States was then an affair of greater magnitude 
and peril, and required a greater length of time than that at 
present between New York and San Francisco, or between 
New York and Europe. The country was wholly without 
good roads, and almost the only mode of travel, as well as of 
transporting merchandise, was upon the backs of horses and 

* Only six years before my grandfather moved to Tennessee, General Washington crossed 
the Allegheny mountains for the purpos:; of ascertaining the practicability of construct- 
in- a navigable water line from the Potomac to the Ohio. The report of his journey and 
observations describes so accurately the coudition of the Western country at the time 
and the necessity of improved highways to unite it firmly with the Eastern States tint I 
cannot refrain from copying a portion of his communication addressed to the Governor of 
Virginia : 

" I need not remark to you," said Washington in the communication referred to " that 
the flanks and rear of the United States are possessed by other powers, and formidable 
ones too, and how necessary it is to apply the cement of interest to bind all parts of the 
Union together by indissoluble bonds-espeeially that part of it which lies immediately 
west of us-with the Middle States. For what ties, let me ask, should we have upon those 
people (in the Mississippi Valley )l How entirely unconnected with them shall we be and 
what troubles may we not apprehend, if the Spaniards on their right and Great Britain o^ 


In 1815 I attended, for about a year and a half, an acad- 
emy taught by Messrs. Morse and Jones, at Newport, Ken- 
tucky. They were excellent teachers, and I derived great 
benefit from their instruction. In 1817 my father moved 
to Madison. Indiana. This State Avas admitted into the 
Union the year previous, and contained about 60,000 
inhabitants scattered very sparsely over the southern 
portion of it. At that time the Indian titles were ex- 
tinoTiished only twenty miles north of Madison. At this 
placs my father opened a dry-goods store. The town 
at that time contained about one hundred and fifty peo- 
ple. It had been so recently settled that it was still a for- 
est — the trees that were not standing almost covered the 
ground where they fell. It was wholly without streets, or 
any improvements fitted to make it an attractive or agreeable 
place. After our removal to Madison I had. for a year and 
a half, the almost inestimable advantage of a private school 
taught by a very superior person from the Eastern States. 

their left, instead of throwing stumbling-blocks in their way, as they now do, should hold 
out lures tor their trade and alliance? What, when they gain strength, which will he 
sooner than most people conceive (from the immigration of foreigners who will have no 
predilection for us, as well as the removal of our own citizens), will he the consequence of 
having formed close connections with both or either of these powers, in a commercial 
w ay ? It needs not, in my opinion, the gift of prophecy to foretell. 

"The Western States (I speak now from my own observation) hang upon a pivot. The 
touch of a feather would turn them any way. They have looked down the Mississippi till 
the Spaniards, very impoliticly, I think, for themselves, threw difficulties in the way; and 
they looked that way for no other reason than because they could glide gently down the 
stream, without considering, perhaps, the difficulties of the voyage back again and the 
time neceEsary to perform it; and because they had no other means of coming to us but 
by land transportation and unimproved roads. These causes have hitherto cheeked the 
industry of the present settlers; for except the demand for provisions, occasioned by the 
increase of population, and the little flour which the necessities of the Spaniards compel 
them to buy, they have no incitements to labor. But smooth the road, and make easy 
the way for them, and then see what an influx of articles will be poured upon us. how 
amazingly our exports will increase, and how amply we shall ba compensated for any 
trouble and expense we may encounter to effect it." 

It has been reserved to the present generation, by the construction of railways, to 
" smooth the road and make easy the way" for the West. The results have vastly more 
than fulfilled the anticipations of the Father of his Country. These works have not only 
rendered the country indissoluble, but have created a commerce the magnitude of which 
really exceeds belief. 


When not at soliool 1 assisted my father in Lis store. At this 
period Genera] Harrison, afterward President of the United 

States, and who was a warm and life-long friend of our fam- 
ily, procured for me a cadetship at West Point. I was very 
> ager to accept the appointment, but relinquished it, seeing 

that my mother was greatly distressed at the thought of m\ 
leaving home, I being her only child. 

In March, 1820, my father, who had long been ill from 
diseases contracted while in military service under General 
Harrison, died. My father, from his infirm health, was not 
successful in his business in Madison, and died insolvent I 
settled up the estate, and ultimately, as I acquired property 
of my own, paid all his debts in full. 

In 1819 I commenced the study of law in the office of 
Gen. Alexander A. Meek', of Madison. I finished my Legal 
course by graduating at the Transylvania law school in 
Kentucky, in 1823. I immediately commenced the practice 
of law in Madison, which at that time had a population of 
about 300. I was diligent, strove to be respected, and made 
it a. point to be punctual in every duty and appointment. 
It was early my purpose of life to respect scrupulously the 
rights of others, but always to be firm in the assertion of my 
own. It was the rigid adherence to this plan of life, if it 
may be so called, that I owed my success. My diligence 
and fidelity in every engagement gave me the command of 
whatever money I wanted, as it was well known that I would 
never allow my liabilities to exceed my means. While in 
the practice of the law I made the cause of tny clients my 
own. Success or defeat, consequently, gave me more pL 
sure, or pain, than it did them. I was for this reason very 
successful ; but I found the labor and anxiety of my profession 
too much lor my strength, which led me to give il upas 
soon as other satisfactory openings for business presented 


themselves. While in the practice of the law I traveled 
what was called the South-eastern District of Indiana, prac- 
ticing in a large number of counties. The only mode of 
traveling in those days was by horseback. On most of the 
routes traveled we were guided by trails or biased lines, which 
were often preferable to what were called roads which, from 
the friable nature of the soil, were speedily so cut up as to 
be almost impassable, particularly in the wet seasons of the 
year. The rivers were crossed in I02; canoes, and bv swim- 
ming our horses, when they could not be forded. 

In 1821: I was appointed assistant clerk of the House of 
Representatives of the State, at the last sitting of the Legis- 
lature at Corydon. The next meeting was at Indianapolis, 
the present capital. I continued assistant clerk until 1827, 
when I was elected chief clerk. My compensation was $3.50 
per day. I kept the journal in which was entered all the 
proceedings of the House, and did the reading. My duties 
required the greatest diligence and the closest attention. I 
soon became master of the rules and modes of conducting 
business, and was in this way enabled to be of service to 
members, many of whom, although men of sense and ability, 
often found themselves in positions of embarrassment from 
want of familiarity with legislative proceedings. My good 
offices were often availed of in the drawing up of motions 
and bills, and in guiding the conduct of members on the 
floor. I regard my office of clerk of the House as one of the 
chief causes of my future success. It enabled me to form an 
intimate acquaintance with all the leading men of the State, 
many of whom, in after life, were not slow to reciprocate the 
o - ood offices I had done them. 

With my practice and my salary as clerk of the House, I 
was in receipt of quite an income, for those days, in the West. 
My habits were simple and economical, at the same time I 


studied to make every one dependent upon me, among 
whom was my mother, comfortable and happy. My surplus 
means were, as fast as acquired, invested in real estate which, 
as in all new States, rose rapidly in value. 

When clerk of the House, the trip from Madison to In- 
dianapolis required three days of fatiguing travel on horse- 
back. It is now performed, by railroad, in about four hours. 

In 1833, upon the chartering of the State Bank of Indi- 
ana, I retired from the practice of the law, and took a prom- 
inent share in the management of that institution. I held a 
larger amount of the stock first subscribed than any other 
individual. This bank consisted of a Central Bank, located 
at Indianapolis, with ten branches in as many leading towns 
of the State. I was the first President of the Madison branch. 
The Central Bank was not one of discount or issue. Its 
functions were a general supervision of the branches, being 
a Board of Control, of which Mr. McCulloch, afterward Sec- 
retary of the Treasury of the United States, and myself, were 
among the leading members. Notwithstanding the man- 
agers of the bank, at the time it went into operation, were 
wholly without training or experience in such matters, many 
of them never having been inside of such an institution, 
it proved a model of success, and consequently most 
beneficial to all the interests of the State. The capital was 
almost wholly borrowed from abroad, and through the credit 
of the State, which took $1,000,000 of the stock, and loaned 
its credit to individual stockholders to the extent of one-half 
the stock subscribed by them, taking as security therefor, 
real estate at one-half of its unimproved value. The credit 
of the State was high, its five per cent, bonds selling at a 
premium averaging from twelve to fifteen per cent. It may 
seem incredible that a bank, based almost wholly upon cajDi- 
tal borrowed, and that, too, through the instrumentality of 


the State, should have proved such a success. It would ap- 
pear to have been almost inevitable that in a country lack- 
ing in commercial training, where the demand for capital is 
always excessive, where the managers of trust funds have 
every inducement to make a reckless use of them, and where, 
among the great mass, there is very little idea of the import- 
ance and value of promptness in the payment of obligations, 
that the bank, if it did not lose its capital, would soon find it 
converted into various kinds of property taken in payment 
of loans, or in the overdue notes of its borrowers. The bank 
commenced business at one of the most critical periods of 
the history of the country — at the very beginning of that 
great era of speculation which nearly bankrupted the whole 
nation, and which culminated in the terrible catastrophe of 
1837. At this disastrous crisis nearly ever}" bank in the 
"Western and South-western States failed, with the exception 
of that of Indiana. A very large number of those of the 
Eastern States were totally ruined. It would seem to have 
been almost impossible that the Bank of Indiana, then one 
of the newest of the Western States, should not have be- 
come involved in the general catastrophe. So far from this 
being the case, the bank not only paid dividends averaging 
from twelve to fourteen per cent, annually, but returned to 
its stockholders nearly double the original investment when 
it was wound up at the expiration of its charter in 1854. 
For the $1,000,000 invested by it in this institution, the State 
received, in profits alone, fully $3,500,000. These profits 
now constitute the school fund of the State, the increase of 
which, being invested in the State indebtedness, is rapidly 
converting the whole of it into an irredeemable fund to be 
devoted to educational purposes. The bank was the only 
one of the numerous enterprises in which the State embarked 
that did not prove an almost total failure. 


As we had always intended to keep our banks in position to 
meet any emergency thai might arise, we had not in the least 
anticipated the general suspension, in 1887, in the Eastern 
States till that event happened. Our Board of Control were 
then in session at Indianapolis. We were at the time the 
depository of Si, 500, 000 of Government funds. 1 was in- 
structed l>v the Board to proceed immediately to Washing- 
ton to represent our condition, and to confer with the Sec- 
retary of the Treasury as to what we, in the emergency, 
should do. I took with me $80,000 in gold. I went up the 
Ohio River in a steamboat to Wheeling, and thence by 
stage, chartered for the purpose, alone across the mountains 
to Frederick, at that time the Western terminus of the Bal- 
timore and Ohio Railroad, and 61 miles west from Baltimore. 
I suffered not a little anxiety on account of the treasure I 
carried more than 800 miles, through a wild and compara- 
tively uninhabited region, and was not a little relieved on 
reaching the sate conduct of a railroad. On arriving at 
Washington I obtained an interview with the Secretary of 
the Treasury, the Hon. Levi Woodbury, explained to him 
the position and the entire solvency of our hank, and deliv- 
ered to him the gold I had brought with me, in part pay 
ment of our balances. He received me with great cordiality, 
and said that our hank was the only one that had offered to 
pay any portion of its indebtedness in specie. We were al- 
lowed to retain the Government deposits till they were drawn 
in its regular disbursements. At his solicitation 1 consented 
to act as Pension Agent for a portion of the Western States. 
For the pei sions I paid, drafts were made upon the Govern- 
ment deposits in our bank. Drafts were also made upon us 
in payment of troops, transportation of the mails, and other 
services. In all these payments our bank-notes, from our 
well-known credit, were received equally with specie. In 


such payments all the balances against us were liquidated in 
a manner entirely satisfactory to the Government, and greatly 
to our convenience and advantage. 

In April, 1838, a convention of the officers of the banks 
of the United States was held in New York, for the purpose 
of considering the subject of resuming specie j)ayments. I 
attended the convention as the representative of our bank. 
In the debates that took place I earnest^ favored the propo- 
sition for immediate resumption. The position I took greatly 
pleased the venerable Albert Gallatin who, aged as he was, 
was the leading spirit of the convention, and who was much 
gratified in finding himself earnestly supported from a quar- 
ter from which he had not expected aid. He took occasion 
to thank me personally and warmly for the grounds I took. 
I recollect my interviews with him on this occasion with 
great pleasure. 

At the period of which I have b3en last speaking, nearly 
all the Western States, Indiana among them, embarked in 
elaborate systems of internal improvements. These were 
entered upon without proper reference to the wants or con- 
ditions of the country, and embraced extensive water lines, 
which were either impracticable or of little valui when com- 
pleted. The different States assumed to provide, by an issue 
of their bonds, the means for their construction. These 
proving wholly inadequate, failure on a gigantic scale was 
inevitable. For such works the State of Indiana incurred 
a debt of about $10,000,000, without realizing any substan- 
tial benefit therefor. It was still without the works neces- 
sary to give value to its products, by opening to them the 
markets of the East. Wheat raised in the interior of the 
State, at the period referred to, would not bring more than 
25 cents the bushel. Indian Com would not bring more 
than one-half this amount. The chief value of the latter 


was to feed it to live stock. There could be no substantial 
recovery till the works were constructed, which have since 
quadrupled the value of these as well as of all other pro- 
ducts of the States. But years had to elapse before their 
construction could be undertaken with any hope of success. 
The people were too poor to construct them. The credit of 
the States was destroyed: and if it had not been, consti 
tutional provisions were enacted by most of them forbidding 
them to create a debt for any work of internal improvement. 
A paralysis for a long time seemed to rest upon the whole 
country. After the resumption of specie payments in 1838-9, 
most of the banks of the country again suspended in 1841. 
In fact, no decided recovery took place till the acquisition 
of, and discovery of gold in, California, in 1848, from which 
event may be said to date the physical development of the 
country, which is now the marvel of the world. 

One of the most important branches of our banking busi- 
ness was the purchase and sale of exchange made by the in- 
ternal commerce of the country. At that time the only out- 
lets of the interior, as far west as Indiana, were the Ohio and 
the Mississippi Rivers. New Orleans was the sole port of 
export. We purchased largely bills drawn against ship- 
ments of produce to this port. As these bills were about to 
mature it was my custom to go to New Orleans to invest 
their proceeds, and such other means as our bank could 
spare, in the purchase of bills drawn in New Orleans upon 
shipments of produce from thence to the Eastern States. 
The proceeds of the latter bills, at their maturity, supplied 
us amply with exchange for our Western merchants, in pay- 
ment of their purchases of merchandise. In this way we 
were enabled to turn our capital several times each year, and 
at a good profit, without the loss, I believe, of a single dollar 
in any transaction. 


I continued in the management of the Madison Branch 
Bank and a member of the Board of Control till 1849, when 
the subject of railroad construction again began to excite 
general attention and interest. During the twelve years that 
had elapsed since the great calamity of 1837, the West had 
increased rapidly in population and wealth, and the neces- 
sity for improved highways was felt to be more imperative 
than ever. The acquisition of California, and the discovery 
of immense deposits of gold within it, gave to the whole na- 
tion an impulse never before felt. Numerous railway en- 
terp rises were again proposed in the West, and I felt that 
the time had at last come when they could be safely under- 
taken as remunerative investments for capital. Residing at 
Madison, Indiana, I had been instrumental in the resuscitation 
of the Madison and Indianapolis Railroad, originally a part 
of the system of public work which the State had attempted 
to construct, and had learned from the early success of that 
road what might be expected of other lines more favorably 
situated. For the purpose, therefore, of embarking in the 
construction of railroads on a wider scale, I went to New 
York in the latter part of 1818, and on the first day of Jan- 
uary, 1819, I formed a copartnership with Mr. Richard H. 
Winslow, the chief object of which was the negotiation of 
railway securities, although we contemplated, in connection 
therewith, a general banking business. At that time there 
were in operation in the West only about 600 miles of line.* 

* On tin' first day of January, 184!>, the following linos of rnilroad were in operation in 

the States north and west of the Ohio River: 

Length of Line. 

Ohio. — Little Miami 84 miles. 

Mansfield and Sandusky 56 " 

Mad River 102 " 

Indiana.— Madison and Indianapolis 86 " 

Michigan. — Michigan Central 146 

Michigan Southern TO " 

Erie and Kalamazoo 33 " 

Detroit and Pontiac 25 " 

Illinois. — Sangamon and Morgan 53 " 

Total 655 milea. 


These roads were chiefly the remains of the old State systems 
which had been sold out to private companies, and were 
almost without exception badly located and imperfectly 
built. They were in all cases laid with the light flat bar, 
upon longitudinal sills, and were utterly incapable of sus- 
taining heavy trains, high speed, or a large traffic. They 
had, consequently, involved in heavy loss all who had been 
engaged in their construction. I felt, however, their want 
of success to be no argument against lines properly con- 
structed upon good routes. I undertook to demonstrate 
this in every way in my power, particularly in newspaper 
articles and pamphlets, of which I published great numbers 
in connection with the negotiation of the securities of vari- 
ous companies which we undertook. The result of our 
efforts soon far exceeded our expectations. Although we 
began in a very small way, every step we took gave us in- 
creased business and strength, and we soon had all the busi- 
ness we could attend to. Commencing with the bonds of 
the Madison and IndianaDolis Railroad, which were the first 
securities of the kind ever brought out in the New York 
market, we followed them with the bonds of the Little 
Miami ; Columbus and Xenia ; Cleveland, Columbus and 
Cincinnati ; 'Cleveland, Painesville and Ashtabula ; Ohio and 
Pennsylvania (now a part of the Pittsburg, Fort Wayne and 
Chicago) ; Michigan Southern, and other important lines. 
We not unfrequently negotiated a million of bonds daily. 
The aggregate for the year was enormous. We were without 
competitors for a business we had created, and consequently 
made money very rapidly. The commissions for the nego- 
tiation of bonds averaged at first five per cent. With their 
negotiation we often coupled contracts for the purchase, at a 
large commission, of rails. Our business soon became so 
great that it was a question with us. not so much what we 


would undertake, as what we would reject. We not unfre- 
quently took, on our own account, an entire issue of bonds 
of important lines. 

The negotiation of the securities of companies was fol- 
lowed by arrangements that made our house the agent for 
the payment of interest accruing on them, as well as transfer 
agents. Such arrangements naturally led the way to the 
banking business to which we afterward chiefly confined 
ourselves. The extent of our business as well as of our suc- 
cess exceeded all expectation. During the period of six 
years, from 1849 to 1854 inclusive, in which we were actu- 
ally engaged in the negotiation of railway securities, 10,724 
miles of line were constructed, nearly one-half of which were 
in the Western States. With all the more important lines 
we were, in one way or another, connected. At one period 
we paid the interest on fifty different classes of securities. 
These facts will convey some idea of the magnitude of our 
business and the vigor and energy with which it was con- 

The uniform success of the enterprises in behalf of which 
we acted was something remarkable, and has .since been a 
source of great satisfaction. I feel that investors, as well as 
the country at large, have been greatly benefited by my 
labors. The interest on almost all the securities brought out 
by us has been regularly paid, while in not a few instances 
there has been an enormous profit upon the prices paid. Our 
house was the first to bring out county and city securities, 
issued for the construction of railroads. These securities 
were instrumental in the construction of an immense extent 
of line, which, but for them, could not have been built, while 
they have proved a most excellent investment. In no in- 
stance, I believe, have the counties and cities, the bonds of 


which we negotiated, made default, either in principal or in- 

Rapid as has been the progress of railroads since we first 
eno-asred in their construction, that of their commerce is a 
matter of still greater surprise and wonder. Considered in 
reference to its magnitude, they have created the present 
immense wealth of the nation. Previous to their construc- 
tion, the products of the interior, only a short distance re- 
moved from navigable water-courses, had no commercial 
value. The greatest abundance of the peculiar products of 
a section mio-ht srive only an inconsiderable amount of com- 
fort, and no wealth. "With such works, the whole natural 
wealth of the country became at once available to the uses 
of man. When we consider that the commerce of the coun- 
try, borne upon railroads, dates from a period considerably 
subsequent to the time I left the West for New York to em- 
bark in these enterprises, and that this commerce to-day 
measures, in bulk, 100,000,000 tons, having a value of 
$10,000,000,000, and that the earnings of our railroads equal- 
ed $100,000,000 in 1868, against $10,000,000 in 1851, and 
that the investment in them, now amounting to $L,800,000,- 
000, has increased in like ratio, the vastness and rapidity of 
this development will be in some degree appreciated. I have 
not only been contemporaneous with all this growth, and, to 
some extent, instrumental in promoting it, but I reach far 
beyond its first inception. In one respect, therefore, my life, 
as does, in fact, that of every middle-aged man, covers a wider 
experience than that of all the generations of men from ear- 
liest history to the present time. 

In the West, twenty years ago, precisely the same means 
were used for the transportation of persons and property 
that were used in the very infancy of the race. So, too, 
nearly all the other methods of domestic economy were en- 


tirely similar for the two widely-separated periods. When a 
child, and till I reached manhood, the clothing I wore was 
made up at home, and by the members of the family. The 
present generation consequently have, in all that relates to 
the economy of life, what might be termed an universal ex- 
perience. The coming one will have only that which be- 
longs to itself.* 

At the close of 1854 we withdrew from the negotiation of 
railway securities, and confined ourselves chiefly to Bank- 
ing, for which our previous success had opened a wide field. 
We however continued to be the financial and transfer 
agents of a large number of railway companies whose secu- 
rities we had negotiated. 

In 1857 the health of Mr. Winslow began to fail. In 
consequence of this he retired from our firm in 1859. He 
died on the 14th of February, 1861. He was a man of rare 

* As already stated, tlie number of miles of railway in operation in the Western States- 
in 1349, the year I removed to New York, was 655. On the first day of January, 1869, twen- 
ty years thereafter, there were 16,839 miles in operation. The number in each State, at 
the dates named, is shown in the following table : 

Ohio 242 3,398 

Michigan 274 1,199 

Indiana 86 2,600 

Illinois 53 3,440 

Wisconsin — 1,235 

Minnesota — 572 

Iowa — 1,523 

Kansas — 648 

Nebraska — 920 

Missouri — 1,354 

Total miles 655 16,889 

The increased railroad mileage in these States, in twenty years, was 16,234 miles, or an 
average of 812 miles annually. The capital invested in them on the first day of January, 
1869, at the rate of $40,000 per mile, equaled $675,556,000— the increase in the twenty 
years being fully $665,000,000. The aggregate tonnage of the roads, for 1869, equaled l,C0O 
tons to the mil j, or an aggregate of 25,333,000 tons, of which the increase exceeded 25, 000,000 
tons. The value of this tonnage, at $150 per ton, equaled $3,750,000,000, nearly the whole 
of which was a creation of the period named. These illustrations will show how rapid has 
been the growth of the West for the past twenty years. When I compare its present con- 
dition with what it was forty years ago, I am at a loss for language to express adequately 
the change. 


force and energy of character, and by thoroughly compre- 
hending the value of railways, admirably adapted to the 
business in which we embarked He had, above all men 
I ever knew, the faculty of inspiring others with the zeal 
and confidence which he himself felt. Whatever he under - 
took was certain to be accomplished. When we consider 
the results that railroads secure — that every mile of line built 
adds, immediately, four-fold its cost to the aggregate value of 
the property of the country, and that the traffic which it 
creates and which passes over it exceeds annually six times 
such cost, we can form some idea of the services rendered to 
society by a man whose energy and influence was instru- 
mental in the construction of an immense extent of line. 
He was one of the leading spirits that inaugurated and sus- 
tained the great movement that led to the construction of 
the vast system of works that are now spread, like a net- 
work, over the whole country, and which now embraces 
nearly 50,000 miles of line. He never ceased from his labors 
till compelled to do so by his declining health. All my re- 
lations with him were of a most harmonious character, and 
it gives me great pleasure to pay this tribute to his memory. 
Although our firm did not, after 1854, negotiate railway 
securities to any considerable extent, we continued to cher- 
ish a lively interest in those enterprises in behalf of which 
we had acted, and frequently rendered them pecuniary as- 
sistance in emergencies in which they not unfrequently found 
themselves placed. The great movement which commenced 
in 1848 culminated in 1857, in a suspension of specie pay- 
ments by the banks, and in an excessive prostration of busi- 
ness throughout the country. No interest suffered so se- 
verely as the railroads. Nearly all of them had been con- 
structed upon borrowed capital, and most of the companies 
owed large floating debts. All wanted large additional 


means, either to complete their works or to discharge press- 
ing liabilities. Even so late as 1858 the earnings of roads 
were not one quarter their present amount. These earnings, 
owing to the embarrassments into which every kind of in- 
dustry and business had fallen, decreased largely for several 
years, and in many cases proved wholly inadequate to meet 
even the calls for interest. Many of our most valuable en- 
terprises were forced into bankruptcy, and had to be reor- 
ganized by new adjustments of interests, and, in most cases, 
by large sacrifices on the part of the stock and bondholders. 
A period of great general depression and discouragement 
followed one of previous confidence and hope. In this crisis 
it devolved naturally upon parties who had been instru- 
mental in providing the means for the construction of roads 
to raise them from their depressed condition, and place them, 
if possible, in a position in which they could be successfully 
worked and realize the expectations formed of them. Among 
the companies that yielded to the financial storm was the 
Pittsburg, Fort Wayne and Chicago — a company with which 
I had been early identified, whose securities we had nego- 
tiated, and for whose good name and success I was most 
solicitous. To its restoration I consequently devoted no 
small portion of my time, till all its embarrassments were 
happily suimountecl, and the road placed in a position of 
perfect independence, in which it proved itself to be one of 
the most valuable enterprises of the kind in the United 
States. Perhaps I cannot better show the difficulties into 
which this work, in common with many others, had fallen, 
and of its subsequent recovery, than by copying the follow- 
ing article in reference thereto, from the New York Times 
newspaper, under date of July 21, 186$ '• 

" In 1859 the Pittsburg, Fort W ayife and Chicago Kailroad, 
in ccmmon with most oilier lines, was overwhelmed in the 


financial revulsion which had swept with resistless force over 
the whole country. The road had been just opened to Chi- 
cago. The line was originally undertaken by three companies, 
none of which possessed means at all adequate to the construc- 
tion of their several links. The road when opened was hardly 
more than half completed. Its earnings, not equaling one- 
quarter their present amount, were wholly insufficient to meet 
current expenses and the interest on its funded debt. Default, 
by necessary consequence, was made on all classes of its se- 
curities. Bankruptcy stared the concern full in the face, 
threatening the loss of nearly the whole amount invested. 

In this crisis a meeting of its creditors, chiefly first mort- 
gage bondholders, was called at the office of Winslow, Lanier 
& Co., to consider what was to be done. This class of cred- 
itors, of course, had the precedence. If they insisted upon the 
letter of the law, they would inevitably cut off all subsequent 
parties in interest, who represented an amount of capital in- 
vested in the road twice greater. After much deliberation it 
was decided to raise a committee to be invested with full 
power, and if possible, save the interests of all. This commit- 
tee consisted of Mr. J. F. D. Lanier, who was appointed by 
the creditors its chairman ; Mr. Samuel J. Tilden, Mr. Louis H. 
Meyer, Mr. J. Edgar Thomson, President of the Pennsylvania 
Railroad, and Mr. Samuel Hanna of Fort Wayne. To give 
some idea of the chaos existing in the affairs of the Company, 
Ave may state that there were outstanding, at the time, nine 
different classes of bonds, secured, in one way or another, upon 
the different portions of the road ; two classes secured by real 
estate belonging to the Company, and several issued in the 
funding of coupons. Upon all these, interest for several years, 
amounting to many millions of dollars, was overdue. The prin- 
cipal sums of several of the first mortgages were speedily to ma- 
ture. The Company also owed more than $2,000,000 of float- 
ing debt, portions of it in the form of judgments recovered in 
the State courts. The road was in extremely bad condition 


and required the expenditure of a large sum to enable it to 
conduct its business with any degree of economy or dispatch. 

Such was the condition of affairs when the Committee com- 
menced work. The value of the securities of the Company 
was merely nominal. Its stock would not sell for five cents 
on the dollar. Each class of creditors was striving to gain 
some advantage at the expense of the others. The first step 
of the Committee, consequently, was to put the property be- 
yond the reach of individuals and in the custody of the coui'ts. 
An order for this purpose was obtained in the United States 
District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, on the 17th 
of January, 1860, and Mr. Wm. B. Ogden was appointed re- 

The Committee set out with the determination of preserv- 
ing, if possible, the rights of all the parties in interest — not 
alone those of the first mortgage bondholders. It was hoped 
that when the property was put beyond the reach of individual 
creditors, an arrangement might be effected and the rights of 
the various parties preserved in the relations they had previ- 
ously maintained. But such an adjustment required the assent 
of each creditor and stockholder. This, in the multiplicity 
and conflict of interests, it was found impossible to obtain. 
The next, and only remaining course, was to sell the road and 
property of the Company by an order of Court in behalf of the 
first mortgagees. Such sale would vest absolutely the title to 
the road in the hands of the purchasers, who would thus be in 
position to make such disposition of it as in their view equity 
and justice might demand. It would also enable them to 
apply the net earnings to the construction of a good road, 
without which the investment itself would be of no value. 

With this purpose a full plan of reorganization, such as was 
finally adopted, was prepared and published, and brought, as 
far as possible, to the attention of every party in interest. 
Decrees for sale had to be obtained in the Courts of the 
United States for four different States. The time required for 


this purpose was occupied by the Committee in incessant ef- 
forts in removing one impediment after another thrown in their 
way by importunate and dissatisfied creditors, who were indif- 
ferent to the fate of the concern, provided they could get their 
pay. All difficulties were at last overcome, and on the 24th of 
October, 1861, the road and property was sold at auction, and 
purchased by Mr. Lanier, in behalf of himself and his associ- 
ates, for the sum of $2,000,000. The Courts, we are happy to 
say, facilitated legal proceedings as far as this could be 
properly done. They had full confidence in the Committee, 
and sympathized with the unfortunate creditors of the concern, 
and not, as at the present clay, in our State, with bands of con- 
spirators against the public welfare, who seek the control of 
great lines with no other purpose but to plunder them. 
Eight years ago, measured by what has since transpired, was 
a golden age of judicial purity. 

By the sale of the road a most important step was gained. 
The title to it vested, absolutely, in the purchasers. They 
could convey it to whom, at what price and upon what terms 
they pleased. What followed was more a matter of detail, 
though involving great patience and labor. For the creation 
of a new Company, according to the original plan of reorgani- 
zation, legislation had to be obtained in the States of Pennsyl- 
vania, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. Such legislation was at last 
secured, a new Company formed, to which was conveyed the 
railroad and everything appertaining thereto, the Committee 
receiving therefor, first, second and third mortgage bonds, in 
amounts sufficient to meet the sums due the different classes of 
creditors in the old Company ; and also certificates of stock 
corresponding in amount to that outstanding in the old. 
First mortgage bonds, to the amount of $5,200,000, were 
issued to the first mortgage bondholders of the old Company, 
and of the several links of which its road was composed, and 
for accrued interest. The bondholders were also required to 
fund, for two years, the interest accruing on the new bonds, 


so as to allow, for such a period, the application of the net 
earnings to construction. The second mortgage bondholders 
received, in the same manner, and subject to similar condi- 
tions, second mortgage bonds to the amount of $5,250,000. 
The unsecured creditors were paid off in third mortgage bonds 
to the amount of $2,000,000. The shareholders received new 
certificates in exchange for the old. By such means each 
class of creditors, without the abatement of a dollar, were fully 
and completely reinstated in the new Company in the order 
they stood in the old. The proper transfers and exchanges 
were made, and on the 1st day of May, 1862, two years and 
six months after the road was placed in the hands of a receiver, 
and six months after the sale, the trust, so long held and faith- 
fully executed, was brought to a virtual close, to the entire 
satisfaction of every party in interest in the road. 

During the period of reorganization the road was operated, 
under the general direction of the Commiteee, by Geo. W. 
Cass, its former and subsequent President. His well-known 
abilities as a railroad manager were never more conspicuously 
displayed than in this service. He had every difficulty to 
contend with — an impoverished and half completed road, with 
clamorous creditors at every turn. The Chairman of the Com- 
mittee was not unfrequently called upon to advance, from his 
private funds, considerable sums in aid of the operations of 
the road. Such advances were, of course, repaid, but only 
with simple interest. The good name and financial strength 
of Mr. Lanier, joined to his well-known prudence and caution, 
tended to inspire great confidence in the action of the Com- 
mittee in which he justly exerted great influence. Mr. Thom- 
son's position as chief of a great and successful enterprise, 
enabled him to render very great aid to the Committee in the 
operations of the road. Indeed, it was through his instru- 
mentality that the old Company was enabled to push its line 
through to Chicasro. Mr. Tilden was the chief lesjal adviser 
of the Committee and Company throughout. Pie had charge 


of the proceedings, not only for the winding up of the old, but 
for the formation of the new Company, and for the recent 
transfer of the road to the Pennsylvania Company, and drew 
up all the documents and guarantees relating to the same. 
The proper discharge of his duties involved the fate and se- 
curity of the whole investment. Not a suggestion has been 
ever raised that they were not ably and faithfully performed. 
The directors of the Company, pending its reorganization, 
rendered valuable assistance. Many of them resided upon the 
line of the road, and were enabled to exert a salutary influ- 
ence, not only among the creditors of the Company, but in 
securing the legislation required. But it is, perhaps, invidi- 
ous to particularize when all worked faithfully and well. Not 
a dollar was ever paid to secure the legislation required for 
the formation of the new Company ; not a dollar to buy ofl" 
importunate or unreasonable creditors. The Committee never 
had a secret which they turned to account at the expense of 
the stock and bondholders. Their plans were prepared and 
published in the outset, and scrupulously adhered to. 

Soon after the new Company commenced operations it was 
seen the enterprise had passed its darkest days. For the year 
ending December 31, 1862, the net earnings of the road 
equaled nearly $2,000,000, all of which were applied to con- 
struction. The Committee was enabled to add largely to its 
available means by the sale of property purchased with the 
road, but not needed in its future operations, and which, in 
fact, they were not, by the terms of the trust, to account for 
to the new Company. The sums realized from these sources, 
and paid over to the Company, equaled about $600,000, of 
which some $400,000 was saved by a compromise which the 
Committee were enabled to make with European holders of 
bonds secured by real estate. All the advantages gained by 
such settlements were given to the new Company. 

In 1863 the net earnings equaled nearly $3,000,000. These 
sums enabled the Company to place its road in first-rate condi- 


tion ; and on the 1st day of April, 1864, it commenced the 
payment of dividends at the rate of 10 per cent, per annum, 
free of Government tax, in quarterly payments of 2£ per cent, 
each. These were continued regularly to the 1st day of July, 
1869, when the road was leased to the Pennsylvania Railroad 
Company for 999 years, at an annual rental of 12 per cent, on 
its share capital. 

In this lease the Pennsylvania Company assumes every ob- 
ligation or charge for which the Fort Wayne Company are, or 
may be, liable. It pays the sum of $19,000 annually for the 
maintenance of the organization of the former. It keeps up 
the annual contributions to the sinking fund. These contribu- 
tions will, in twenty-six years, wholly pay oif the bonded 
debt of the Fort Wayne Company, leaving the stockholders 
the sole owners of the road ; and, in conclusion, it agrees to 
pay an annual rental of 11,380,000, a sum which equals 12 per 
cent, annually upon the stock, free of Government tax, or of any 
other charge. The terms of the lease also allow the Fort 
Wayne Company to increase its share capital seventy-one and 
three-sevenths per cent., and to issue certificates for the whole 
capital, upon which, for the entire period of the lease, seven per 
cent, a year, in quarterly payments of one and three-quarters per 
cent., free of Government tax, is to be paid. All these pay- 
ments, as well as the accruing interest, are to be made directly 
to the agency of the Fort Wayne Company, in New York. 
When we consider that the net earnings of the road largely 
exceed the rental paid, and that this rental is guaranteed by 
the most powerful and successful railroad corporation on this 
Continent, and that the lease will inure even more to its ad- 
vantage than to that of the lessors, in placing a common line 
under a common head and management, certainly it is not 
within the power of man to make a better security, or one in 
which trust funds can be more securely placed. 

We have thus put on record a detailed statement of the re- 
suscitation and success of a great enterprise, as an example of 


what has been and may be accomplished by upright, able and 
public-spirited men. In no country do railways bear a rela- 
tion to the internal economy of a people so intimate as in ours. 
No investments, consequently, can be so productive as those 
made in good and well-managed lines. There is no doubt that 
the gross earnings of the railroads of the Northern States equal 
fully 30 per cent, annually of their actual cost. One-third of 
this, at least, should be net, and we take pleasure in placing 
an illustration before our readers, where the best possible net 
result has not only been secured, but secured as it should be, 
to those who are and have been the owners of the property." 

I have given this statement as an example of what patient 
labor and watchfulness may accomplish under similar cir- 
cumstances. We not only saved a vast property, at one 
time, to all appearances, wholly wrecked, but made it one of 
the most productive railroads in the country, and finally 
leased it in perpetuity to one of the richest and most pros- 
perous corporations in the United States — the Pennsylvania 
Kailroad Company — at an annual rental of 12 per centum 
per annum, after making full provision for the principal and 
interest of its debts. An immense investment was not only 
saved, but rendered productive almost beyond precedent ; 
and with it, great numbers of persons whose means were in- 
vested in the road, saved from poverty and want. In their 
comfort and happiness I am well repaid for the toil and 
anxiety which I underwent on account of this work. 

In 1860, the election of Mr. Lincoln to the Presidency of 
the United States, an event which I earnestly desired, was 
followed by mutterings of the coming storm, which soon 
burst upon the country with resistless violence. I was too 
old to take the field, but I gave whatever aid and encour- 
agement I could to the cause of the Union. It was not long, 


however, before I was called upon to assume more respon- 
sible duties, on account of the relations which I had 
sustained to the State of Indiana. That State voted for Mr. 
Lincoln, and at the same time elected State officers in politi- 
cal sympathy with him. The Hon. Henry S. Lane, who 
had been elected Governor of the State, was chosen by the 
Legislature, upon its assembling, as Senator in the Congress 
of the United States. By this event, the Hon. O. P. Morton, 
Lieutenant Governor, became the Chief Magistrate. The war 
found the State almost wholly without means for arming, 
equiping or sending into the field the quota of troops re- 
quired of it. It had no money in its treasury, and in the 
general distrust which prevailed, and in the universal scram- 
ble for money, for all the loyal States, as well as the Fed- 
eral Government, were in the market for it, it was found im- 
possible to sell its bonds, or to provide in season, from its 
own resources, the means required. In this dilemma Gov- 
ernor Morton applied to me for a loan of money to arm 
and equip the quota of troops required of his State. I 
complied with his request, and continued such advances 
as they were required, till the whole amount reached 
$400,000. With this sum he was enabled to arm and 
equip his quota in a most satisfactory manner, and 
despatch it to the field more promptly than that of 
any other Western State. Indiana at all times was nearly 
equally divided upon the subject of the war. Whatever, 
consequently, tended to inspire the confidence and raise the 
spirits of the Union party within it, greatly strengthened the 
hand of the Executive, and had a most important and fa- 
vorable influence upon the great contest. 

In 1862, owing to the reverses that had befallen the Union 
arms, the elections in many of the States went adversely to 
the National cause. In Indiana a majority of the members 


returned to the Legislature for that year were bitterly op- 
posed to the war, and to all measures necessary for its vig- 
orous prosecution. They were determined, if possible, to 
take the State out of the Union ranks, and place it in direct 
antagonism to the Government at Washington. The success 
of their disloyal schemes might have proved fatal to the 
great cause. None understood this better than themselves. 
Indiana was not only one of the leading States of the West, 
but in many respects it occupied a position of first-rate im- 
portance. It was centrally situated, and, extending from 
Lake Michigan to the Ohio, it would, in disloyal hands, 
have been in a position to cut off all communication between 
the West and the East. Its southern border rested upon 
territory where the great mass of the people were strongly 
infected with the spirit of rebellion. This State, consequent- 
ly, became emphatically the battle-ground of the contest in 
the North. If its influence had been arrayed against the 
Union, the infection might have spread to other States, as 
there were in all abundant material eager to take advantage 
of any event that might embarrass or defeat the action of 
the Government A united front on the part of all the 
Northern States was absolutely essential to success. Such 
a front, happily, was preserved throughout the whole war. 

The plan adopted by the disloyal members of the Legis- 
lature of Indiana was to divest the Governor of all power 
over the militia, and to vest the control of the same in a 
committee of their own creatures. The}'' refused to pass 
the necessary appropriation bills till their schemes should 
become a law. To defeat their plans the only course left to 
the loyal members was to retire from the Legislature, which 
they did. That body, consequently, was left without a 
quorum. Their retirement put an end to the iniquitous 
projects, but it left the Governor without the means of 


preserving the credit of the State. It was held by the Su- 
preme Court of the State that without a special act he could 
not pay the interest accruing on the State debt, although 
it had been previously supposed that the Constitution of 
the State had provided for such a payment without any 
special law. 

In this emergency Governor Morton, most anxious to pre- 
serve the honor and credit of the State, applied to me to ad- 
vance the sums necessary for the purpose. Unless this could 
be done he felt that he could not justify, before his own 
State and the country, the position which his friends in the 
Legislature had taken through his council and advice. The 
application was made at the darkest period of the whole war. 
I could have no security whatever, and could rely for reim- 
bursement only on the good faith of a Legislature to be 
chosen at a future and distant day, and upon the chances of 
its being made up of more upright and patriotic members 
than those composing the one then in existence. If the 
great contest should turn out disastrously to the cause of the 
Union and of freedom, I could never expect to be repaid a 
dollar. I felt, however, that on no account must the debt of a 
great State be discredited, nor the position of its Chief Magis- 
trate, the ablest and most efficient of all the loyal Governors, 
and who of all contributed most to our success, be compro- 
mised or weakened. No alternative was left to me but to 
advance the sums required. I would not allow myself to 
be responsible for the consequences of a refusal of his re- 
quest. If the credit of the State in such a critical period 
should be destroyed, that of the other States, and even the 
Federal Government, might be so impaired as to render 
it impossible for them to sustain the immense burdens 
of the war. Another influence of very great weight with 
me was an ambition to maintain the credit of a State with 


which I had so long been identified, to which I was in- 
debted for my start in life, and for whose credit in former 
times I had earnestly labored. The last, perhaps, was the 
ruling motive. I accordingly addressed a note to the agent of 
the State for the payment of the interest, offering to pay that 
falling due July 1st, 1863, and requesting him to supply me 
with a list of the holders of the State stocks. He perempto- 
rily refused to furnish such list, being himself one of the con- 
spirators in destroying the State credit. A list had to be 
procured from other sources of information. As soon as this 
was obtained, I commenced the payment of interest, which 
was thereafter promptly paid by me on the days it fell due. 
These payments were continued two years. The whole 
amount advanced by me on this account was $6-10,000. In the 
meantime the State was practically without a Legislature. 
The disloyal members were constantly in the expectation 
that the Governor would be compelled to caJl them together, 
as the only means of enabling him to carry on the govern- 
ment. The Governor well knew that if they were called 
together, they would take from him the power to control the 
militia of the State, and he determined to hold out, which 
he did, till a new Legislature should be chosen. 

The following extracts taken from the message of Gov. 
Morton, made to the General Assembly of Indiana, Jan. 6, 
1865, gives a brief and succinct history of the efforts made 
to destroy the credit of the State, and to embarrass its action 
in the war, and of the aid rendered by our house in defeat- 
ing them : 

"Shortly after the Legislature adjourned, the question was 
sprung as to the existence of legal appropriations for the pay- 
ment of the interest upon the public debt, and the opinion of 
the Attorney General was published, denying their existence 
and any power to withdraw the money from the Treasury to 


pay the interest, which opinion was indorsed and acted upon 
by Mr. Ristine, the Auditor of State. Believing that the 
question had its origin in political considerations, and that 
there was little room to doubt as to the legal right and duty 
of the Treasurer to remit the money to New York to pay the 
interest, I at once took issue with these gentlemen. The State 
had failed to pay the interest upon her bonds from 1841 to 
1847, during which time she acquired a reputation for repudi- 
ation and bankruptcy, from which she only recovered after 
many years of faithful discharge of her obligations. The dark 
cloud which had thus been placed upon her financial character 
had seriously retarded her growth in wealth and population, 
deterring emigration from other States. In 1846, she ef- 
fected a compromise with most of her creditors, by the trans- 
fer of the Wabash and Erie Canal for one-half of her debt, and 
issuing new stock for the other half, upon which she solemnly 
pledged herself to pay the interest semi-annually. 

This pledge, and the legislation had in pursuance of the com- 
promise, was treated by Governor Whitcomb, and the various 
officers of State, as a valid appropriation of the money neces- 
sary to pay the interest under the old Constitution, which, 
upon this subject, is like the present. In 1850 the framers of 
the new Constitution, by the twentieth section of the tenth 
article, solemnly ratified this contract with the bondholders, 
by appropriating all the revenue of the State, derived from 
taxation for general State purposes, after defraying the ordi- 
nary expenses of the State government, to the payment of the 
interest and the liquidation of the principal of the public debt. 
It was clearly the purpose of the new Constitution to place 
the credit of the State beyond the contingency of dishonor by 
acts of omission or prohibition on the part of the Legislature. 
Under the new Constitution, further legislation to pay the in- 
terest was not deemed necessary, and this construction was 
acted upon by all administrations down to 1863 ; although, 
perhaps, in one case, a formal appropriation was made with- 


out any definite purpose. An action for a mandamus against 
the Auditor was commenced by Mr. W. H. Talbott, President 
of the Sinking Fund Board, for the avowed purpose of having 
the question settled, which was carried through the Circuit 
and Supreme Courts, and resulted in a decision, by the latter, 
against the existence of an appropriation. Without intending 
any disrespect to the eminent tribunal by which this case was 
decided, I must be permitted to observe that the history of its 
origin, progress and conclusion was such as to deprive it of 
any moral influence, and that the principles upon which the 
decision was made have been since openly disregarded by the 
Auditor and Treasurer of State in the payment of large sums 
of money to the Public Printer. But leaving out of view 
wholly who was right or wrong upon the legal question, it was 
a matter of the first importance that the obligations of the 
State should be promptly met, and her credit rescued from the 
disaster of a new dishonor. It had received a shock in the 
discovery and exposure of the Stover forgery of our State 
stocks amounting to nearly three millions of dollars, from the 
evil consequences of which it was relieved only by a deter- 
mined effort on the part of the State authorities to bring the 
criminals to justice. ISTo argument was required to prove that, 
should it again become impaired by a serious failure upon the 
part of the State to meet her engagements, it could not be re- 
stored during this generation, and the progress of the State in 
wealth and population would receive a serious check. Deter- 
mined, if possible, to avert the threatened calamity, I went to 
New York and laid the whole matter before the house of 
Messrs. Winslow, Lanier & Co., with the request that they 
should advance the amount necessary to pay the interest, until 
such time as the Treasury might be unlocked, and the money 
obtained therefrom. My request was generously met, and, 
after full consideration, acceded to, provided a correct list of 
the stockholders could be obtained. It is proper to state that, 
in making this arrangement, no stipulation was asked for or 


given, in regard to the compensation they should receive for 
the use of their money, and the risk and trouble they should 
incur ; but the whole matter was referred to the future action 
and good faith of the State. They at once notified John C. 
Walker, Agent of State, of their readiness to pay the interest, 
and asked him to furnish, from his books, a list of the stock- 
holders, for the making out of which they offered to pay. This 
he peremptorily refused, and denied access to his books, from 
which they desired to copy the list. They then proposed to 
him that he should pay the interest in the usual way upon his 
own books, agreeing to honor his checks, issued therefor, at the 
same time exonerating him from all personal liability for any 
moneys so paid. This offer was likewise refused. The coi're- 
spondence between Winslow, Lanier & Co. and Walker upon 
this subject, is herewith submitted for your consideration. 

As Messrs. Winslow, Lanier & Co. would not take the re- 
sponsibility of paying, in the absence of a correct list, owing 
to the existence of a large amount of spurious stock, which 
otherwise they had no means of detecting, the interest which 
fell due on the first day of July, 1863, went unpaid. Deter- 
mined not to be defeated, if possible, in the effort to preserve 
the credit of the State, I attempted to secure from other sources 
a correct list of the stockholders, and in this attempt succeed- 
ed, in November. In the meantime the necessity for action 
had become more manifest and imperative than before. While 
the American stockholders had a correct knowledge of the 
state of affairs, and but few stocks were changing hands or 
being offered in the market, the case was quite different with 
our stockholders in Europe. In Europe, American politics are 
always badly understood, and the principal fact, which they 
clearly comprehended was, that they did not receive their in- 
terest. They associated this failure with that of 1841, and 
began to say that there was some strange fatality attending 
Indiana securities, and declared their intention of sending 
them back to America and getting clear of them at once and 


forever. Such a measure would have given the State a bad 
name abroad, seriously affecting emigration to her borders, 
and would have been followed by great depi-eciation and loss 
of credit throughout the United States. 

Having presented the list to Messrs. Winslow, Lanier & Co., 
they promptly renewed their offer, and gave public notice that 
they would pay the back interest which fell due in July, and 
afterward gave further notice that they would pay the interest 
accruing on the 1st day of January, 1864 ; the 1st day of July, 
1864, and the 1st day of January, 1865 ; and up to the 31st of 
November last, as I am advised, had paid out four hundred 
and sixteen thousand six hundred and seventy-seven dollars 
and eight cents. 

How much they have paid since the 1st of January, 1865, I 
am not advised, but presume it will make the aggregate as 
much as five hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars. The 
noble and generous conduct of this house should and will be 
appreciated by the people of Indiana ; and Mr. Lanier, in his 
clear comprehension and able management of the affair, has 
displayed not only financial ability, but a broad statesmanship 
not often exhibited in financial affairs. 

I trust that the generous confidence which he has reposed in 
the good faith of the people of Indiana will not be disap- 
pointed, and that the Legislature will hasten to reimburse him 
for the money he has expended, and indemnify him for the use 
of it, and for the trouble he has incurred. 

In conclusion, upon this subject, lam glad to be able to say, 
that the credit of the State has been fully preserved ; and 
that her stocks now command a higher price, relatively, in the 
market, when compared with stocks of other States, bear- 
ing like interest, than at any former period in her history." 

In 1864, the Presidential election again took place. Mr. 
Lincoln was a candidate for re-election to the Presidency of 
the United States, as was Mr. Morton for the governorship 


of Indiana. This State was one of the first to vote in the 
fall elections of that year. Its action, in view of the events 
that had occurred in it, could not fail to be regarded as the 
key-note of the campaign, if not conclusive of the great con- 
test that was speedily to follow. In that State the canvass 
necessarily turned upon the extraordinary condition of things 
that had existed in it for two years ; upon the policy of the 
Union party in breaking up the Legislature ; the refusal of 
the Governor to reassemble it, and upon the responsibility 
he assumed of paying the interest on the State debt without 
provision of law. One of the ablest men in the State was 
nominated as his opponent. The two canvassed the State, 
Governor Morton in vindication, and his competitor in 
condemnation, of the policy and course that had been pur- 
sued. It was a contest in which Mr. Lincoln took a very 
deep interest, not only from its significance in reference to 
his own election, but from the interest he took in that of Mr. 
Morton, who, of all the civilians in the United States, prob- 
ably rendered the most efficient and valuable service in put- 
ting down the great rebellion. 

In the canvass before the people, Mr. Morton acquitted 
himself with transcendent ability. Mr. Lincoln, in reading a 
report of the speech of Mr. Morton, by which it was opened, 
said, "That settles the Presidential election." The result 
fully justified his expectation. Mr. Morton every where car- 
ried the people with him, and upon no issues more heartily 
than in their approval of the policy of the Union party, 
which, to avert a greater evil, had left the State without 
a Legislature for two years, and of the steps by which its 
faith and good name had been maintained. He was 
elected by more than 20,000 majority, in the most heated 
canvass ever known in the State. The result there turned 
public sentiment everywhere in favor of the Administration ; 


and in the following month, Mr. Lincoln was elected to the 
Presidency by the almost unanimous voice of the North. 

At the State election for 186-4 a majority of Union mem- 
bers were returned to the Legislature, by whom provision 
was made for the repayment of the sums I had advanced, 
with no other compensation than interest on the amount, 
which was all I desired or would have received. I had, how- 
ever, the most gratifying proofs of the esteem which my 
action had secured for me throughout the State. Every 
loyal man felt that I had averted a disgrace in which he 
must have shared. The effect upon the politics of the State 
was decisive. It has ever since been a steady supporter of 
the Union cause. At the next vacancy occurring in the 
Senate of the United States, Mr. Morton was chosen to fill 
the place, which he now holds in a manner both honorable 
to himself and the State. 

I omitted to mention, in its proper order, my connection 
with the adjustment of the debt of the State of Indiana in 
1847. As already remarked, that State had previously 
embarked in elaborate systems of public works, the means 
for the prosecution of which were wholly raised by sales of 
bonds. In the embarrassments which followed, the State 
made default in the payment of interest on these bonds, and re- 
mained in default till the amount due reached the sum of about 
$12,000,000, of which some $4,000,000 were for interest. At 
the session of the Legislature of the State for 1846 7, an 
act was passed for an adjustment of the debt, commonly 
called the " Butler Act," authorizing an issue to the holders 
of the old bonds, of a five per cent, inscribed State Stock, 
to an amount equaling one half that of said bonds ; and a 
transfer, to Trustees, for the benefit of the bondholders, of 
the Wabash and Erie Canal, with the lands belonging to 


the same, upon the condition of the surrender of the old 
bonds — the payment of the other half of these bonds being 
chargeable upon the canal and its revenues. 

It became necessary, therefore, that some person should 
visit Europe for the purpose of explaining the financial 
condition of the State, to secure the assent of such bondhold- 
ers as had not acceded to the proposition made them, and 
to make the exchanges of securities. I was appointed to 
this mission, and proceeded to Europe early in the summer 
of 1847. The new securities to be issued, viz. : the certifi- 
cates of State stock, and of ownership in the canal, were 
placed in my hands fully executed, with the exception of 
dates, amounts, and names of parties to whom they were to 
be issued. These I was authorized to insert on making the 
exchanges. I was accredited to Sir J. Horsley Palmer, then 
G-overnor of the Bank of England — a staunch friend of the 
United States, and whose place of business in London I 
made my headquarters ; to Baron N. M. Rothschild, of Lon- 
don ; to Baron James Rothschild, of Paris ; to the house of 
Hope & Company, of Amsterdam — these parties, or the 
houses with which they were connected, holding or controll- 
ing large amounts of the bonds. Immediately upon my 
arrival in London, I prepared and published a statement 
embodying the plan of settlement proposed, and urging, with 
what arguments I could adduce, its acceptance. My du- 
ties brought me into intimate contacl with the gentlemen 
named, and also with Mr. Labouchere, then manager of the 
house of Hope & Co., of Amsterdam. I had occasion, in the 
execution of my mission, to visit, several times, the cities 
named, and also Geneva, Switzerland, where some of the 
State bonds were held. The result was, that I was enabled 
to get up nearly all the outstanding bonds, and was in this 
way instrumental in placing the credit of the State on the 


firm basis upon which it has ever since rested. The State 
immediately entered upon a career of prosperity which has 
never flagged to the present moment. A virtual repudiation 
had destroyed its public spirit, and had been a bar to capital 
and immigration coming into it. Since the funding of the 
debt, no state in the Union has made more rapid progress 
than Indiana. It has constructed 3,000 miles of railroad. 
These works now penetrate every portion of its territory. 
Its debt has been almost wholly paid to the holders, by tax- 
ation, or from the proceeds of the school fund arising from 
the profits accruing from the interest of the State in the 
State Bank. The benefits resulting from the adjustment of 
this debt have been almost incalculable. 

I was not only successful in my mission, but I had a most 
agreeable visit — my first to Europe. I was most kindly re- 
ceived by all the parties to whom I was accredited, and by 
others. Mr. Labouchere's ancestors, like my own, were Hu- 
guenots, and were driven out of France about the same time 
that mine were, and for a similar cause — adherence to the 
principles of the Eeformation. His ancestors fled to Holland ; 
mine to America. A kindred ancestry, as it were, and a 
kindred experience brought us into close sympathy. Sir 
Horsley Palmer also treated me with gratifying attention, and 
invited me to his princely country seat at Fulham, on the 
Thames, a few miles from London. The acquaintances I 
then made were of immense service to me in the business 
in which I subsequently engaged, and have added greatly to 
the pleasure of subsequent visits to England and to the Con- 

On my return home I delivered up the bonds I had taken 
up, together with the unused certificates of State and Canal 
Stock. My accounts were settled most satisfactorily, and I 
received the thanks of the State authorities for the manner I 
had executed the trust confided to me. 


In 1865, as I was about to visit Europe, I received com- 
munications, copies of which I gave elsewhere, from the 
Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of State of the 
United States, requesting me to act, in its behalf, in explain- 
ing to capitalists abroad the character of our public debt and 
the means and disposition of our people for its payment. 
This mission I undertook with earnestness, being fully per- 
suaded that no better securities could be made than these 
of the United States. This conviction I sought, with what- 
ever power I possessed, to impress upon others. At Frank- 
fort-on-the-Maine, I was formally invited to address a public 
meeting of Bankers and Capitalists upon the subject of my 
mission. It was largely attended, and I had an opportunity 
not only to submit some detailed remarks, but for a free and 
full conference with gentlemen composing the meeting, 
nearly all of whom could speak my native tongue. My 
remarks were published in German and English, and freely 
distributed, through the Consulates, throughout the Continent 
and England. I believe they were instrumental of much 
good as they embodied the arguments in favor of our 
securities in a concise form, and in one that had not been 
previously presented, and one that could be used by others, 
particularly my own countrymen, equally with myself. Of 
these I annex a copy : 

" Remarks of Mr. J. F. D. Lanier, made at a Meeting op 
Bankers and Capitalists, at Frankfort-on-the-Maine, 


The national debt of the United States, on the first of 
August of the present year, was, in round numbers, $2,720,- 
000,000, to wit : 

Debt bearing interest payable in gold - - - $1,108,000,000 
" " " " in currency - 1,053,000,000 
" " no interest 559,000,000 


It is estimated, upon the most competent authority, that the 
national debt, after all the expenses of the war are finally 
liquidated, will not exceed $3,000,000,000. 

The revenues of the Government for the fiscal year ending 
June 30, 1865, were $318,251,589 10, of which $82,000,000 
were in gold, from Customs. 

The revenues for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1866, 
were estimated at $396,000,000, of which $80,000,000 will be 
in gold from Customs, $300,000,000 from internal taxes, and 
$16,000,000 from lands and miscellaneous sources. 

The interest on the entire national debt of $3,000,000,000 is 
estimated at $165,000,000, leaving $231,000,000 for the ex- 
penses of the Federal Government and other purposes. 

These estimates were made in June last, at the commence- 
ment of the fiscal year. Since that time the receipts from 
Customs have increased so rapidly, that instead of $80,000,000, 
as estimated, the revenue from this source, in gold, may reach 

This increase is largely owing to the trade which has been 
opened up at the South since the suppression of the rebellion. 
Although the war destroyed for a time the commerce and in- 
dustry of this section, and deprived the people of the ability 
to maintain their railroads and to navigate their rivers, and 
left them little but the cotton which had been accumulated, 
this is found to be sufficient to furnish a very large amount of 
means with which to supply their wants, and lay, anew, the 
foundations of their prosperity. The receipts of cotton from 
the South, at New York, equal 20,000 bales weekly, and have 
been followed by corresponding exports to that section of 
supplies, and whatever is necessary to the restoration and 
development of its resources. 

The national debt of England at the end of the war with 
France, in 1816, amounted to $4,205,000,000. It has since 
been reduced only $250,000,000. It equaled $218 20 to each 
individual, and 40* per cent, of the aggregate value of the 



whole property of the Kingdom. Since the battle of Water- 
loo her wealth has grown at a slow but steadily increasing 
rate — from 20 per cent, in the first, to 41 per cent, in the last 
ten years, thereby reducing the burden of the debt from 40! 4 ;, 
per cent, on the national wealth, to 12 per cent. 

The census of 1860 showed the wealth of the loyal States 
to be $10,716,000,000, and a yearly product $2,870,000,000 
in value, or 26|- per cent, of their aggregate capital. 

The wealth of the loyal States increased, in the ten years 
between 1850 and 1860, at the rate of 126 per cent., or 8^ 
per cent, per annum. Assuming these amounts and rates as a 
basis, we have for June, 1865, a wealth of $16,112,000,000, 
and an annual product of $4,318,000,000, without making any 
estimates on exports. 

In 1833 the national wealth of England was estimated at 
$17,200,000,000. For the United States the figures given are 
by no means estimates, but are results accurately obtained 
throuo-h the Census Bureau. These results enable us to esti- 
mate the amount of the national wealth at the close of future 
periods, to wit : 

In 1870 the national wealth will equal - - $24,218,000,000 
In 1880 " " " - - 48,436,000,000 

In 1881 " " " - - 51,516,000,000 

In the last-named year, consequently, the interest on the 
national debt of $3,000,000,000, will equal only 3^ per cent, 
of the national wealth. 

This estimate of the reduced percentage of the interest of 
the national debt in ratio to the national wealth, is made upon 
the rate of increase of national wealth prior to the rebellion. 

On this calculation, what will be the increase for the next 
sixteen years ? Let us look a little more carefully into this 
question. During the last ten years the increase of wealth in 
nine of the North-western States and Territories of the Unit- 
ed States was not less than 41 1^ per cent. — the aggregate 


increase being from $452,500,000 to $1,862,000,000. Four 
new Territories, which did not appear in the census of 1850, 
had a valuation in 1860 of $98,000,000. Those since organ- 
ized — Dacotah, Nevada, Colorado, Arizona and Idaho — are 
not embraced in this estimate. These last-named States and 
Territories are as rich in precious metals of all kinds as was 

As another important source of wealth and revenue, the 
United States still holds 950,000,000 of acres of unsold lands 
which, now that the war is closed, will soon come into market, 
and which should bring $1,000,000,000 into the public 

But what is of vastly greater importance is the rapidly in 
creased value of these lands, consequent upon their occupation 
and settlement. The taxable value of property in the North- 
western States, as has been shown, increased at the rate of 
411* per cent, from 1850 to 1860. In 1880 this value will 
be thirty times greater than it was in I860, and form the basis 
of a revenue infinitely greater than what could be derived 
from the sale of their lands ; so that if every dollar derived 
from this source should be bestowed upon the new States by 
the Federal Government, in aid of internal improvements and 
for educational purposes, their taxable wealth and the revenue 
derived from them would soon exceed many times the sums so 
bestowed. It is not only in what we now possess, but what we 
are capable of accomplishing, that our strength lies. 

Our minerals are another vast source of yet undeveloped 
wealth. At least 1,000,000 square miles of our territory are 
surpassingly rich in gold, silver, copper, lead, quicksilver, coal, 
gypsum, salt, etc., etc. From their recent discovery our gold 
and silver deposits, except in California, have hardly begun to 
be worked. Were they worked even to the extent that they 
are in that State, they would produce, it is estimated, at least 
$200,000,000 annually, while the other minerals named would 
yield at least one-half this sum, were proper means of trans- 


portation and communication provided. Such results are not 
probabilities of a far distant future ; their accomplishment is 
sufficiently near to be an all-important element in enabling the 
country to bear the burdens imposed upon it. They are, in fact, 
the necessary and inevitable consequence of the progress of a 
people who already number 34,000,000 souls — who double their 
population every twenty-three and a half years — who possess 
every implement and contrivance that science and art have con- 
tributed in aid of labor — who are urged forward by a resistless 
spirit of enterprise, confident of their future, and of their ability 
to surmount all obstacles that may oppose their way. Such a 
people may be safely entrusted with the greatest responsibili- 
ties, and are equal to any emergency in which they may be 

But upon the future growth of these undeveloped territories 
we by no means place our confidence of the ability of our 
people to bear the burdens imposed upon them. The aggre- 
gate increase of the wealth of the older States has been 
vastly greater, though the ratio of the increase may not have 
been so great. That of Ohio has increased within ten years 
at the rate of 126 per cent., although the State was founded 77 
years ago ; that of the States of New Jersey and Connecticut, 
though founded more than two centuries ago, increased in a 
like rate ; that of Pennsylvania increased, within the same 
period, at the rate of 96 per cent., upon the already large 
aggregate of $722,000,000. 

For the last four years the Northern States supplied all the 
means for carrying on the war, and for defraying the expendi- 
tures of Government. We are fast being relieved of the 
former, at the same time that the States recently in rebellion 
are now contributing their proportion to our already diminish- 
ed burdens. These are soon to be reduced more than one 
half, while our increased means from an united country must 
exceed by at least one-third what they have been. By the 
census of 1860 the wealth of the Southern States equaled 


$3,467,000,000. In the period of five years, from 1855 to 1860, 
they doubled the value of their products. They will, in a 
very short time, be restored to a condition of prosperity far 
exceeding anything in their former experience. The great 
drawbacks to the proper development of their resources have 
been removed. They possess all the blessings and advantages 
— which cannot be overestimated — of a temperate zone and of 
a semi-ti-opical climate. What they have lacked have been 
population, skilled labor, a spirit of enterprise, and the mani- 
fold industries of free institutions; all these essentials to pros- 
perity have been secured to them by the war. 

A short period, therefore, only is required for the realization 
of the promise which our natural wealth and resources afford. 
Taking the past as a basis of calculation for the future, the 
United States, in 18S0, will have a population of 60,000,000, 
and a national wealth of 160,000,000,000. It will then not 
only be able to meet the interest on the public debt, but will 
be able to discharge it with entire ease — and, true to our his- 
toric policy, will undoubtedly do so. The national wealth of 
Great Britain, in 1816, was only half as great as is that of the 
United States at the present time, yet its debt has already 
been reduced from 40 to 12 per cent, of its wealth. That of 
the United States in 1880, will be only 5 per cent, of its 
wealth, should the amount of the debt, in the meantime, re- 
main um'educed. 

Should revenues additional to these already provided be 
required, they may be easily raised by taxes levied upon cotton 
and tobacco and other articles of the re-established Union, of 
which we monopolize the production of the world. It is esti- 
mated that our revenue may be increased from these sources 
from $60,000,000 to $100,000,000, without any diminution in 
the consumption of the articles taxed, and without injury to 
our commerce or to any domestic interest. 

The manner in which the obligations of the United States 
are held should add greatly to the confidence of foreigners in 


them. Of the whole amount outstanding, not more than 
$300,000,000, or one-tenth of the whole, are held abroad. All 
classes at home, poor as well as rich, have invested their sav- 
ings in them. Very large amounts are held in sums not ex- 
ceeding $50. Preference is universally given to them over all 
other kinds of investment. No national loan was ever so uni- 
versally distributed. Each citizen felt himself a party to the 
contest, and contributed to it according to his ability. All, 
consequently, are directly interested in maintaining inviolate 
the public faith. 

It is a great error to suppose that the Northern States have 
been exhausted in consequence of the war. There is most 
convincing proof to the contrary in the ease and readiness 
with which they have supplied the Government with money, 
and whatever was necessary for its prosecution, and have 
absorbed the vast debt that has been created. The Govern- 
ment has neither directly nor indirectly borrowed a dollar in 
Europe. The bonds that have found their way there have 
gone in the regular course of trade. 

The vast demand created by the war for munitions, materi- 
als and supplies of all kinds, gave to the agriculture of the 
West and the manufactures of the North a wonderful impulse, 
which still continues. The resources of those sections remain 
not only unimpaired, but have been greatly augmented. Great 
as are their burdens, the people feel themselves perfectly able to 
bear them, and that they have an ample equivalent for them 
of a nature far transcending mere material advantages. They 
have for the first time established their nationality upon an 
immutable basis. They have removed the great source of dis- 
cord and alienation — slavery — and they are infinitely stronger 
and more united than ever before. Under the able and judici- 
ous administration of our affairs, the nation has started anew 
on a career of growth and jarosperity unexampled in its own 
history, or in that of any other people. 

The nation has pledged its honor for the fulfilling of all its 


obligations. Success has given a full equivalent for them. 
Its wonderful experience has served to give confidence in and 
ability for the future, and no one who considers our means, 
our present position, or the guarantees of the past, can doubt 
the payment of our national debt." 

On my return home I received not only the thanks of the 
Government for the services I had rendered, but gratifying 
evidences of appreciation of them from private individuals. 
I annex the following Associated Press Report of my inter- 
view with the President and Secretary of the Treasury, on 
presenting my report : 

"Washington, Friday, Nov. 3, 1865. 

Mr. J. D. F. Lanier, the well-known banker of New York, 
who recently returned from Europe, whither he went some 
time ago on a confidential mission for the Government in con- 
nection with the national finances, yesterday had an interview 
with the President and the Secretary of the Treasury, to 
whom he submitted a report of the results of his mission. Mr. 
Lanier everywhere found the best of feeling prevailing, in finan- 
cial circles, with relation to the United States, particularly on 
on the Continent, and great confidence in our public securities. 
At Frankfort-on-the-Maine he addressed, at length, a large meet- 
ing of capitalists, embracing representatives from nearly every 
leading house in Germany. The complete and utter over- 
throw of the rebellion was a matter of equal surprise and con- 
gratulation, and the demonstration made of the power and 
wealth of the North was a subject of unusual admiration. 
But the Avar being ended, the expectation was confidently 
expressed by the European holders of our securities, that we 
would immediately commence a return toward specie pay- 
ments, however gradual the progress in such direction might 
be. Such a step, it was represented, was absolutely necessary 
to the maintenance of confidence in our securities and in the 


policy of the Government. The ability of the country to bear 
all the burdens of the war was not questioned, especially with 
the rapid progress of the work of Reconstruction, which bids 
fair to restore political and social amity to every portion of 
the country. With a wise and correct policy, there will be no 
limit to the demand for our securities, not only on the Conti- 
nent, but in England, where our military successes were fast 
opening the eyes of their people as to the value of our bonds. 
But the feeling against any further increase, and in favor of a 
steady contraction of the currency, was universally expressed 
as the sole condition on which our credit abroad could be 
maintained. It is understood that the views of Mr. Lanier 
were heartily responded to, both by the President and the 
Secretary of the Treasury." 

I also annex a copy of a letter received from Hon. 
Samuel Hooper, M. C. : 

Thirty-eighth Congress, 
House of Representatives, 
Washington City, Dec. 24, 1865. 

My Dear Sir — I have to thank you for your kindness in 
sending me a printed copy of your remarks recently made at 
a meeting of European capitalists at Franklbrt-on-the-Maine, 
which I have read with much interest and with most hearty 
approval of them. 

I consider you entitled to the thanks of all loyal men for 
them ; and I congratulate you on the results which so soon 
after added confirmations to your statements. 
With great respect, I am, 

Your ob'd't servant, 

J. F. D. Lanier, Esq. (Signed) S. Hooper. 

Since the date of the above remarks, I have had, in com. 
mon with every American citizen, the gratification of wit- 
nessing an uninterrupted improvement of our national 


credit. All that I, or others, could do was to present the 
evidence upon which this appreciation has been based, and 
show what we were and what the future must do for us. 
But even my anticipations have been far exceeded by the 

In this connection I also copy the following article from 
the New York Times newspaper, of January 19, 1866 : 

"OUR financial position abkoad. 

The effects of our great struggle are beginning to be felt in 
Europe at the moment we are emerging from them here. The 
wave set in motion is moving round the world, uniform in its 
course and resistless in its power. We have demonstrated 
that the nationality of a Republic, based solely upon the convic- 
tion of its value, is far more firmly grounded in the hearts of the 
people than institutions based upon tradition, and fortified by 
pride of ancestry and the recollection of great deeds ; or by 
that uniformity of life and character which ages alone can 
produce. Foreigners, for the first time, realize that we are a 
Nation, with an ideal palpable to the meanest citizen — that 
chaos has no place in our system, and that we have the will 
and the power to reduce to obedience every refractory element ; 
and that the strongest of all governments is that in which 
each citizen has an equal share, and is an equal partaker in the 
advantages which it secures. 

The first sentiment developed toward us is that of respect. 
Close upon that follows confidence in our material and financial 
condition. We have provoked a spirit of inquiry which can- 
not be set at rest. We no longer lack friends to sympathize 
with us, but hosts are coming forward to share our burdens 
and our prosperity. Our securities arc eagerly sought for in- 
vestment, particularly on the Continent, at the same time that 
a new impulse is given to emigration to our shores. The inter- 
est felt in us in Germany cannot be better described than by 


giving an extract from a letter received from Frankfort-on-the- 
Maine, where a large number of capitalists was recently 
addressed by our citizen, Mr. Lanier, whose remarks have 
been circulated, by our Consuls, throughout Europe. It says : 

' Gold or paper dollar is the question which agitates the 
German press and financiers. The more they discuss your 
financial prospects, the more they invest in your securities. 
On all 'Changes, the transactions in them are enormous. Since 
the receipt of the President's Message and the Report of the 
Secretary of the Treasury, the United States securities rule 
the market, almost to the exclusion of every other loan. The 
Wirtemberg official paper has brought out a long article warn- 
ing the excessive investment in your bonds ; over 100,000,000 
of guilders having been invested in them, to the detriment of 
other interests. But to the disappointment of the Govern- 
ment, your bonds next day rose two per cent. — the Liberal 
press taking the ground that the people could do nothing 
better than invest in American securities, as the safest loan 
offered in an age. These bonds are the most powerful and in- 
fluential emissaries you could have sent over to the Old Conti- 
nent, to convert the masses to republican principles. They 
never before heard so much talk about America ; your means 
and resources, your future and your prospects, are discussed 
everywhere, and in such favorable terms that emigration is the 
leading topic among the sturdy masses ; and the next year 
will bring you, for every $1,000 of your bonds taken in Ger- 
many, at least one of her industrious sons.' 

A similar feeling is rapidly developing itself towards us in 
England, as shown by the operations of the London Stock 
Exchange. Our securities are constantly forcing their way 
there, in spite of the efforts of the Bank of England and of 
the public press to decry their value, and to point out the 
danger to that country from a large investment in them. 


Such a result is not only most gratifying to our national 
pride, but is the proper reward of our efforts and successes, 
and proper homage to our national character. It is due very 
largely to a public spirited gentleman who has visited Europe 
for the purpose of placing before the people, there, the ground 
and method of our strength and prosperity, and who supplied 
the data by which foreigners themselves could arrive at satis- 
faetory conclusions in reference to them. His success was 
complete. The sentiment everywhere felt toward us is all we 
could wish. It has increased enormously, not only our politi- 
cal influence and power, but it goes far to solve any financial 
embarrassments that might threaten. The way being pre- 
pared, should it be thought advisable, we could have, any 
day, a draft upon Europe honored for almost any amount. 
The object of the bill now in the hands of the Committee of 
Ways and Means is to place such pow T er in the hands of the 
Secretary of the Treasury, should its exercise ever be deemed 
to be expedient. It is not probable, however, that any such 
necessity will occur. Our own people are abundantly able to 
absorb all our securities, while the amounts going abroad, daily, 
will fully equal all we should wish to see placed in foreign 
hands. Our military successes, together with the material 
strength we have displayed, have settled our financial difficul- 
ties ; and though these have in times past been great, every 
day lessens the burdens they impose." 

In 1868, being again about to leave for Europe, I received 
from the Treasury Department the following commu- 
nication : 

Treasury Department, 

try Department, ) 
April 20, 1868. \ 

Dear Sir — Understanding that you are about visiting 
Europe, I take the liberty of requesting that you will, as a 
friend of the Department and as a representative of it without 
compensation, avail yourself of such opportunities as may be 


presented to you to ascertain what is the sentiment of capital- 
ists in regard to United States securities ; what would be the 
prospect of negotiating a five per cent, loan — principal and 
interest, by express provision of law, payable in coin ; and 
whether or not such bonds could be exchanged, at par, for the 
Five-Twenty six per cents now held in Europe ? 

I will thank you also to make, from time to time, such sug- 
gestions as you may think proper in regard to the finances of 
the United States, and the best steps to be taken to place the 
credit of our securities on the most satisfactory basis. 

With many thanks for the very valuable service rendered 
by you to the Government when you were last in Europe, 

I remain, very truly, 

Your ob'd't servant, 

(Signed) H. McCulloch, 
J. F. D. Lamer, Esq., Secretary of the Treasury. 

New York. 

My health during this visit to Europe was such that I could 
not give the attention to the requests in the foregoing letter 
that I desired. I, however, caused the remarks I had made at 
Frankfort on a previous visit, to be re-printed, with some 
additional matter, and circulated, widely, through the Consu- 
lates and other channels. I also conferred, sufficiently, with 
leading bankers abroad to satisfy myself that, in a compara- 
tively short period, a five per cent, long bond, payable, princi- 
pal and interest, in gold, in New York, could be made to take 
the place of the six per cents, outstanding, and without loss 
to the Government — which conviction I communicated to the 
Seci-etary of the Treasury. Everything that has since tran- 
spired has tended to confirm such conviction. 

At the close of the war it was estimated that the funded 
debt of the Government, when all the outstanding claims 
should be included, would reach $3000,000.000. It would 


have reached this amount, but for the vast sums which our 
immense revenues enabled us to pay. At the close of the 
fiscal year of 1866, the ascertained debt amounted to> 
$2,784,073,379. F>y the statement made March 1, 1870 
and the last made previous to the preparation of this sketch, 
it amounted to $2,164,390,318, as follows: 

Debt bearing- coin interest $2,107,939,650 

Debt bearing currency interest L - 24,012,320 

Debt bearing no interest 440,442,857 

Debt matured and not presented for payment. . . o,!)73,346 

Total debt $2,676,368,173 

Less in the Treasury : 

Coin $102,400,739 

Currency : 10,280,746 

Bonds purchased 99,287,800 


Debt less cash and bonds $2,464,399,888 

Of the debt bearing currency interest, $61,157,320 is for 
bonds issued on account of the Pacific Railroads, and which 
were issued subsequently to July 1, 1866. Deducting these 
from the above statement the total will be $2,399,120,028, 
or $381,653,351 less than it was three years and eight months 
previous. The rate of payment has exceeded $100,000,* mid 

The average market value of the 6 per cent. 1881 bonds 
of the Government, in 1861. was 110 ; that of gold, for the 
same year, 220. The value of the bonds in 1865 equaled 
106 per cent. ; that of gold 138. The market value of the 
1881 bonds on the 10th of March, 1870, equaled 111; that 
of gold, 111. These figures express, better than any lan- 
guage, the rapidity with which the credit of the Govern- 
ment has appreciated. 

Since the close of the war I have not taken any active 
part in public affairs, but have devoted myself to banking — 
a business which our house has followed for the past fifteen 


years. We have retained a connection with several of the 
enterprises which we helped into existence, and have fre- 
quently extended to them aid in their financial affairs. I 
am a business man, from taste as well as from long habit. 
The period of my business life has probably been the most 
remarkable one in all history. Steam was first successfully 
applied to locomotion in the latter part of 1829 — only forty 
years ago ! Since then the progress made in the physical 
sciences and in the material prosperity of the world has been 
beyond all precedent. The most sanguine imagination could 
not have pictured one-half the results that have been realized. 
The Electric Telegraph followed speedily upon the inven- 
tion of the railroad, as the necessary condition to the high- 
est value of this wonderful contrivance. In this short period 
50,000 miles of railroad have been opened in the United 
States. A great and unbroken line extends across the Con- 
tinent from ocean to ocean, traversing, without inconven- 
ience or interruption, the most formidable mountain bar- 
riers. The terminus of this line upon the western slope 
of the Continent, the City of San Francisco, now contain- 
ing 200,000 people, existed only in name when I removed 
from Indiana to New York. The railroad, everywhere, 
has become the common highway of the people. Nor 
have other countries, though far distanced by our own, been 
idle in the great race of social and material progress. The 
same year that witnessed the completion of the Pacific Kail- 
road has also been distinguished by the opening of a ship 
canal from the Mediterranean to the Eed Sea, thus realizing 
the dreams and hopes of the merchant, as well as the great 
rulers, for thousands of years. At the moment that this is 
being written, the great pageant of the opening of this new 
highway, which shortens by thousands of miles the routes to 
the Indias, is reported to us, word by word, as it proceeds, 


by line* of telegraph wholly submerged beneath the **a! 
/he Period which embraces my business hfe has been one of 
intense activity, and of wonderful and beneficent acluevc- 
Lents; and itl a source of the highest grautude and sa^- 

faction to me to have witnessed the great movement ha 
have taken place, and to have been iden .tied with then 
progress. I hope my children will be equally fortunate and 
Lppy by being equally fevored with oportumttes or use „ 
and valuable labor, and to see, as I have seen, the fait of ,t 

spring up on every hand. 

I now conclude this brief sketch of some of the leading 
events of my life. Although I have, throughout, been an 
active business man, I have been subject to bat tew vicissi- 
tudes of fortune. I have been almost uniformly successful. 
I have, as a role, enjoyed excellent health. For aU these 
blessings, bestowed by a kind Providence, I am, I rust, 
truly grateful. It haa been my good fortune not only to 
have had .a wide acquaintance with the leading men, and 
with various portions of this country, but to visit other 
lands, to return from them only to value more highly our 
people and our own institutions. As I grow in years the 
Lie am I drawn to my family and children. I trust that 
my example will not be without its uses in teaching my 
children the worth of industry and prudence m whatever 
walk of life they may find themselves cast, They may be 
assured that with these qualities, joined to integrity of char- 
acter, they can never be unhappy, and never be without a 
reasonable share of tins world's goods, nor without the con- 
fidence and respect of their fellow-men. 



[From the American Railroad Journal, March 2, 1861.] 

This gentleman, so well known in the business circles of this 
city, and for many years a leading mind in the great move- 
ment that covered our country with railways, died at his resi- 
dence at Westport, Connecticut, on the 14th ult. He was 
born at Albany about fifty-five years ago, and was a direct 
descendant of Governor Winslow, of Plymouth Colony. He 
came to New York about thirty years since, and immediately 
went into business in Wall street. His prominence, however, 
as a public man, commenced with the great railway era of the 
country, which almost immediately followed the discovery of 
California. On the 1st of January, 1849, he formed a copart- 
nership with J. F. D. Lanier, Esq., many years a resident of 
the West, and who brought to the firm not only all the quali- 
ties that can command affection and respect, but a very wide 
and intimate knowledge of the public men, and the wants and 
resources of the West. Mr. Lanier brought with him the first 
Western Railroad bond ever offered in this market, and the 
firm soon turned its attention to the negotiation of this kind 
of securities. - At that time, Western railroads hardly existed, 
oven in idea. There were no precedents to inspire confidence 
or to guide in framing a system or plan for presenting these 
enterprises to the public. Before anything could be accom- 
plished a favorable opinion had to be created — a formidable 
undertaking where monetary co-operation was to be secured. 
For this office Mr. Winslow was peculiarly fitted. He was a 
man whose earnest' convictions and great energy seldom failed 
to impress his own views upon all with whom he came in con- 
tact. The commencement made by the firm, however, was in 
a very small way. It was compelled to take a portion of loans 
ottered, and divide the balance among a very limited circle ; 
the firm, even in such cases, being frequently called upon to 
guarantee prompt payment of interest on the loans. The 
bonds of the Madison and Indianapolis Railroad were first 
brought out, followed by those of the Little Miami, Columbus 
and Xenia, Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati, Lake Shore, 
and other Western railroads. The immediate success of these 
works fully vindicated the representations made in reference 
to them, and realized large profits to the purchasers of their 
securities. Thenceforward the operations of this firm were 


distinguished rather for their magnitude than for the difficul- 
ties to be surmounted. For several years nearly every loan 
brought upon the market was proffered it, securing to it a se- 
lection of the best offered. In a short time its operations ex- 
tended to almost every State in the Union where railroads 
■were in progress, and a very long list of our best paying pro- 
jects might be named, for the construction of which this firm 
was instrumental in securing the means. So thoroughly had 
this firm become established in public confidence, that, in the 
years of 1852,1853 and 1854, it was no unusual affair for it 
to make negotiations equaling $1,000,000 in a single day ; 
while sales Varying from $100,000 to $500,000 a day were' of 
common occurrence. In 1852, the firm was enlarged by the 
addition to it of Mr. James Winslow, brother of the deceased. 

Considering the immense number of securities negotiated, 
the firm was very fortunate in the enterprises selected. This 
was in a great measure due to Mr. Lanier, whose 
thorough and intimate acquaintance with the West enabled 
him to foresee with great accuracy the works likely 
to be successful. Nearly all the securities negotiated 
have had their interest promptly paid, while many of them 
rank among the very first class. This firm were also the first 
to introduce County bonds of the State of Ohio upon this mar- 
ket, and negotiated the greater portion of these, which are 
still regarded as one among the most reliable Western secu- 

After 1854 the firm gradually withdrew from railway nego- 
tiations and confined itself almost entirely to banking, in 
which it transacted a large business. About eighteen months 
since Mr. Winslow retired from it on account of his health 
which continued steadily to decline till his decease. 

What these gentlemen actually accomplished, however, is 
to be looked for in the results rather than in the magnitude of 
their operations. The credit they early established for West- 
ern securities, spread till it extended over the whole of Europe 
as well as of this country. The capital of both was freely 
proffered to our enterprises. A similar spectacle was never 
seen. Railroads were commenced simultaneously in every 
part of the Union, and in the decade just closed l'5,000 miles 
were constructed. In one or two years 4,000 miles were 
opened each year. The whole system sprang as if by magic 
into existence, stretching from Quebec, in Canada, to New Or- 
leans, 2,500 miles apart, and from the eastern part of Maine to 
the western part of Kansas, penetrating every portion of our 
wide domain. The whole of Europe has yet hardly construct- 


ed the extent of mileage opened in the United States within 
the past ten years. 

The commerce of a country like the United States is mainly 
a creation of its public works, as these are essential to give a 
commercial value to the products of the interior. A person 
who provides the means for the construction of a railroad is a 
public benefactor. Its results are the measure of good he 
has accomplished. But such persons are often the unseen 
spring in the mechanism, while the one who superintends the 
execution of a single piece of the work becomes the conspicu- 
ous object. But for the former, the latter could have had no 
function or name. Now if we take the results that followed 
the efforts of the pioneers in the great railway movement, we 
shall have nothing in history to compare with them. In the 
Western States, where these have been the most conspicuous, 
there are now 10,500 miles of railroad, constructed at a 
cost of -$400,000,000, carrying freight to the amount of 
7,500,000 tons annually, and having a value of at least 
$500,000,000. The population of these States increased from 
4,721,554 in 1850, to 7,797,528 in 1860, or at the rate of about 
seventy per cent. Their wealth is increased in three-fold ratio. 
First-class cities have sprung into existence, and the whole face 
of the country presents the scene of a numerous, active and 
thriving population, with a vast commerce, nearly all the cre- 
ation of its public works. 

In the Eastern States, the most striking effect of these works 
is seen in the progress in population and commerce of the city 
of New York. The population of this city and its environs 
has increased from 645,000 in 1850, to 1,155,000 in 1859. Its 
exports, in 1850, were $47,580,357; in 1859, $146,683,450. 
Its imports, in 1850, were $116,667,558 ; in 1859, $229,408,130. 
Its wealth in the same time has more than trebled. This ad- 
vance is the real measure of the results of the construction of 
Western railroads, as New York has reaped the same advan- 
tage as if each had been constructed for its particular beneiit. 

Such results, the firm of which Mr. Winslow was an active 
member was greatly instrumental in achieving, and it is 
proper that the occasion of his decease should not be passed by 
without a reference to them, as they are certainly the proud- 
est monument ever erected to the memory of man. 



The following account, written soon after the events de- 
scribed, will interest my children in showing them how nar- 
rowly I escaped with my life, in a great storm which I en- 
countered in crossing the Alps in the winter season : 

Gexoa, Friday, Jan. 23, 1863. 

I left Paris on Saturday. I had an agreeable journey by 
rail to San Meichel, at the foot of Mount Cenis. At San Mei- 
chel we were transferred to sleio-hs, or rather to dilig-ences 
placed on runners. A 3 P. M., Sunday, we began the ascent of 
the mountain. The day was a pleasant one — calm, with sun- 
shine. We reached the summit about 12 1-2 o'clock at night 
— the weather still continuing calm and pleasant, the stars 
shining brightly — and we congratulated ourselves on the pros- 
pect of so pleasant a passage over this Alpine region. We had 
descended on the Italian side about half an hour, when the 
wind began to blow, drifting the snow across our route, which 
impeded our progress. As we continued to descend, the wind 
increased in violence, making it more and more difficult for us 
to proceed. 

At 3 o'clock in the morning, having reached a point more 
than half-way down, the gale became teriffic, roaring like a 
thousand Niagaras, dashing and whirling the hue dry snow so 
as to darken the atmosphere. 

By this time the drifts had become deep, and it being dark 
our progress was stopped. On our left was a precipice of a 
thousand feet or more deep. The sleigh next in front of ours 
had upset with the passengers, and was only prevented going- 
over the precipice by its lodging in the soft snow within a few 
feet of the edge. The conductor now came and told us we 
would have to sit in the sleigh where we were, until daylight ; 
that he must seek the protection of the lee of some rock with 
his horses to save himself and them from perishing from cold. 
This announcement, you may imagine, was anything but 
agreeable to us. Here we sat until about 9 o'clock Monday 

About 5 o'clock we heard the fall of an avalanche across the 
road before us, and soon after the fall of another in our rear; 
this greatly increased our alarm, as we did not know what 
moment another would sweep us over the precipice in its 


course. It was truly a night of horror. After daylight we 
anxiously awaited the return of the conductor to know our 
fate ; he came after 9 o'clock and informed us that he would 
endeavor to draw the sleigh a little nearer the avalanche, to 
shorten the distance we should have to walk to reach it. 

We had advanced hut a few rods when we came to a stand, 
the drifts preventing our progress. Our only chance of safety 
was to walk to the " Cantano," or house of refuge, ahout four 
hundred yards off, the avalanches fifteen to twenty feet deep 
and more than one hundred wide, lying in the way. Each one 
had to take care of himself. 

I was the last to leave the sleigh. With difficulty I reached 
the avalanche, and in attempting to walk over it I sank, half 
my length, in the soft snow. I became completely exhausted; 
the terrible wind took my breath away. I fell on the snow, 
unable to speak or rise. One of the passengers happened to 
see me fall, and after reaching the " Cantano " sent up two of 
the Cantoniers, who carried me to the house nearly in an in- 
sensible state. By dint of rubbing with spirits I revived in 
about half an hour. 

The storm continued with unabated fury until about 10 
o'clock Tuesday morning, when it began to subside a little. 
In the afternoon of Tuesday, the chief of the cantoniers, an 
active, energetic fellow, came from below with twentv-five of 
his men ; these, added to about ten at the " Cantano," made 
thirty-five men. The sleighs having been brought down, the 
joyful order was given to mount, which was readily complied 

At this place I made the acquaintance of the Marquis 
DAzeglio, the Italian Minister at the British Court, then on 
his way to London. At his request, I gave him a copy of this 
letter, which he said he would lay before his Government of 
Turin, that they might consider the subject of providing bet- 
ter accommodation for travelers at these " Cantanos." 

I had read in my early years of the fury and power of these 
Alpine storms ; how unfortunate travelers were suddenly 
overtaken and lost in the drifts and avalanches of snow, but 
never before did I realize them. The tunneling of Mount 
Cenis is progressing as fast as the nature of the case admits 
of; they have penetrated about one mile at each end; the 
blasting is through a rock of the hardest kind ; the progress 
is about five feet a day at each end, and when completed will 
be over eight miles long. The completion of the tunnel is 
greatly to be desired ; it will make the shortest, most direct, 
and far the most agreeable route from Paris to Italy. This 
work is being done by the Italian Government. 


Copies of letters addressed to me by the Hon. Hugh Mc- 
Culloch, Secretary of the Treasury, and Hon. "William H. 
Seward, Secretary of State of the United States, as I was 
about leaving for Europe in 1865. 

Treasury Department, 
Washington, May 29, 1865. 

Dear Sir — Although you are about to visit Europe for the 
benefit of your health, and desire to be relieved from all cares 
and responsibilities, I cannot permit a gentleman of your dis- 
tinguished and well-merited reputation as a financier to visit 
Europe, without asking of him the benefit of his services in 
explaining to Capitalists in that country the condition of our 
financial affairs, and in giving to me the benefit of such sug- 
gestions as he may be able to make in regard to the condition 
of American credit in the countries he may visit, and in the 
transaction of any business which the Treasury Department 
may wish to commit to his care. 

I inclose herewith a statement of our national debt. You 
are well advised of our national resources. 

I will thank you, while in Europe, on behalf of the Treasury 
Department, to explain the character of this debt and the ex- 
tent of the resoui'ces of the United States, to gentlemen with 
whom you may come in contact, and who may be interested 
in these subjects. 

I will from time to time communicate with you upon these 
subjects, and ask of you to perform specific duties, if I should 
be under the necessity of requiring your particular services. 

Trusting that your journey will be a pleasant one, and that 
you will return to the United States re-invigorated by relaxa- 
tion and travel, 

I am, very truly, your ob'd't servant, 

f (Signed) H. McCuxloch, 

J. F. D. Lanier, Esq., Secretary of the Treasury. 

New York. 


Department of State, 
Washington, 2d June, 1865. 

To the Diplomatic and Consular Agents of the United States 
in Europe : 
Gentlemen — It is my pleasing duty to introduce to you 
J. F. D. Lanier, Esquire, a distinguished banker of the City 
of New York, and a most estimable gentleman. 

Mr. Lanier has been requested by the Secretary of the 
Treasury to look after the financial interests of this Govern- 
ment while in Europe, and he has kindly consented to do so. 

I commend him to your friendly attention and considera- 
tion, and bespeak for him such facilities as may contribute to 
the effective discharge of the duties confided to him. 
I am, gentlemen, 

Your very obedient servant, 

(Signed) William H. Seward, 

Secretary of State. 







■ ■ ■■ ' ' :i V.,v "M ;